When you decided to marry your spouse, you were likely full of optimism about the future. Still, between 40% and 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. For individuals in a second, third or subsequent marriage, the divorce rate may be even higher. Often, the best time to plan for divorce is when you have few problems in your marriage.
Collaborative divorce is on the rise for good reason. Instead of having a knock-down, drag-out fight in open court, a married couple works together to reach an acceptable agreement about the end of the marriage. Generally, the fewer areas of contention, the greater the likelihood of dissolving your marriage without a protracted legal battle. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements often make collaborative divorce simpler.
Typically, prenuptial agreements protect the financial interests of both spouses. While discussing a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle may be awkward, a well-drafted agreement may help you through the divorce process. That is, your prenuptial agreement likely describes which spouse receives which assets. It may also clear up spousal support and other issues. If you have a prenuptial agreement, though, you must recognize its legal weight. That is, your prenuptial agreement may either enhance or limit your ability to secure financial freedom.
While many couples execute prenuptial agreements, some also draft postnuptial ones. As their name suggests, postnuptial agreements come during the marriage instead of before it. These agreements help outline marital finances. They may also further describe what happens to marital property in the event of a divorce. Any time you add clarity to financial matters by taking a practical approach, you boost your odds of having a successful collaborative divorce.
Fighting with a spouse during divorce proceedings can be both stressful and heartbreaking. Fortunately, with some planning, you remove much of the contention from the dissolution of your marriage. Having a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is likely an effective way to end your marriage without a bitter court battle.